Sometimes you’re trying to do something, and having a hard time. In cases like these, you need a little bit of assistance from others. That’s why today I’m going to go over how to say help me in Japanese.
In addition to that I’ll also cover some related phrases that can be used in alternative situations. Some more daunting, others not so much.
Let’s dive right into the words, explanations, and examples now.
Help Me In Japanese
The first word that I wanted to talk about is 助ける (tasukeru) which means “to help” in Japanese. This is by far the most common word used when a person is asking for someone to help them.
You’ll normally see or hear it in the te-form of the verb as 助けて (tasukete) which is a pretty casual way to ask someone for help. It’s also common to see the Japanese word for please added onto the end of it.
- tasukete kudasai.
- Please help me.
Something to note about this phrase is that even though the Japanese word for “you” isn’t explicitly said, it is still implied and understood.
This is because the てください construction is one that is used when requesting that someone “please do something” for you, the speaker.
Another similar phrase that would be used more often by men in anime and manga is 助けてくれ (tasukete kure) which has that てくれる form that is often used to request a person do you, or someone close to you, a favor.
I wouldn’t recommend using that shortened form with people that you aren’t close to. Instead, it would be better to use 助けてくれませんか (takete kuremasen ka) which is like asking them “I don’t suppose you could help me?” and is a more polite construction of the verb.
Other common phrases with this word would be 助けてあげる (tasukete ageru) which means “I’ll help you” since the あげる is attached to the verb, the speaker is saying that they will do said verb for the benefit of the listener.
Finally, 助かった (tasukatta) or its polite equivalent 助かりました (tasukarimashita) is a way to tell the other person that they have been a big help to you and that you are thankful.
Give Me A Hand In Japanese
Another word that translates as help is 手伝う (tetsudau). The main difference between this word and the one we just covered is that 手伝う is more like “give me a hand with something” and is usually connected with a task.
Since this word actually uses the kanji for “hand” 手 it should be fairly easy to remember it that way. Another good English word for 手伝う is “assistance.”
We can do a lot of similar things with this word like we did in the last section. For example, putting it into the te-form and adding on please makes it a request.
- tesudatte kudasai.
- Please help me (with this task).
The same formations with くれる and あげる apply to this word when you want to either ask someone to assist you with a task, or when you want to offer your help to someone else.
- ホッジンズ博士 手伝ってくれます？
- hojjinzu hakase, tetsudatte kuremasu?
- Hodgins, can you give me a hand?
One difference between 助ける and 手伝う that you will probably encounter is that when a person needs help becuase they are in some sort of danger, then will only use 助ける to ask someone to help or save them.
Save Us In Japanese
While the first word we covered can be used to ask someone to save you from a dangerous situation, there is another word that often gets used when someone makes a formal request for you to “save them” from something.
This word is 救う (sukuu) and brings the connotation of “salvation” to it, which can be different from the earlier word which might simply be something like “please help me get out of trouble with mom” type of thing.
For example, the word 救う is used early on in the light novel The Rising of the Shield Hero when the main character and the other three heroes are summoned to the new world and are asked to save it from total annihilation.
- douka kono sekai o osukui kudasai!
- Please save this world!
The way that I like to typically remember these words is to use 救う for saving the world type stuff, and 助ける for helping a person out with something.
Looking After Someone
The Japanese society is one that recognizes the group above that of the individual. As such, people are seen as being reliant on one another quite naturally in all aspects of life.
Because of this, it is common to thank other people for the help that they’ve done for you. Sometimes they do so in situations that come off as a little odd to people from the West simply because our cultures are nearly opposite of one another.
For example, when a customer calls a store they might be greeted with:
- osewa ni natte orimasu.
- We are indebted to you.
This is really a set phrase that is used to thank others for taking care of you in some way. It centers around the word 世話 (sewa) which means “looking after” in Japanese.
It can be used when talking about taking care of people as well as animals. It might be used when a person is ill and someone is nursing them back to health, but it can also be used when someone is down on their luck and is staying with a friend temporarily until they get back on their feet.
Was This Helpful?
That’s all I’ve got for today’s lesson. I hope that you found the information both easy to understand and useful.
I’m sure there are other ways that you can ask for help in Japanese, so don’t think that these are the only ways to do so. That being said, the words covered in this post are super common so you will definitely run into them while reading and listening.
If you have any questions or comments, please be sure to let me know by leaving them in the section below. Thanks!
Further Resources for Learning Japanese: